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Which Trees Are Great for Shade in Summer?

Which Trees Are Great for Shade in Summer | Landscape Improvements

On a hot summer day, there’s not many things that can compare to having tall majestic trees that provide much-needed shade from the blazing sun. 

Additionally, having summertime trees around your home is necessary for certain ornamental plants such as camellias, tropical cacti, trilliums, and begonias to flourish. That’s not all. These trees can also help reduce your home’s indoor cooling costs by up to 30%

What makes a great shade tree?

There are three main factors to consider when choosing a great summertime tree. These are: 

  • It should be deciduous.
  • It should have a wide spreading canopy with dense foliage.
  • It should grow quickly so you don’t have to wait too long to reap its benefits.

Here’s our top picks for the best trees that are great for summertime shade.

Sweet Acacia

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Although considered an exotic tree, Acacia can adapt to just about any landscape. The Sweet Acacia tree is a  Florida-Friendly plant and makes for a great addition to your home’s outdoor area. The best part is that this tree grows quickly, produces beautiful yellow flowers and gives off a sweet scent. Once fully grown, it will provide you and your family with cool shade during the hot summer months. 

Florida Ash

If you’re looking for a low maintenance summertime tree, ash trees are the way to go. This deciduous tree is native to the southeastern parts of the United States and can grow as tall as up to 25 feet tall. There are over 50 varieties of Ash trees to choose from. Once fully grown, its branches spread out quite nicely to provide a great deal of shade from the burning sun. 

California Sycamores

These quick growing trees are fairly resistant to inclement weather and can thrive in a number of environments. Once fully grown, they can reach up to 80 feet tall and provide ample shade throughout the year. Keep in mind though that California Sycamores have an aggressive root system so don’t plant them too close to the foundation of your home or of any nearby structures. 


Also known as the silver dollar tree, this fast grower boasts a tolerance to hot, humid, and windy conditions, making it a great choice for Florida homeowners. In addition to the shade they provide during summer, eucalyptus trees are famous for their fragrant leaves imbued with many medicinal properties.


These sun-loving plants are famous for their versatility. They make a fine addition to any landscape and reward homeowners with great shade in summer. You should note though, that there are over forty species of Juniper so be sure you’re planting the right one. Some species are dwarf type trees so they won’t really grow tall enough to provide shade from Florida’s sweltering summer sun. 


This list would be incomplete without mentioning the mighty oak tree. These trees are quite common across the United States. Here in Florida, there are 19 species of Oak Trees native to this region, all of which are strong, durable, and boast a lengthy lifespan. Some of the best oak species for summertime shade include the Black Oak or Quercus velutina, which can grow as high as 85 feet, and the Southern Red Oak (Quercus falcata), which can reach over 70 feet in height and up to 3 feet in diameter. 

Hybrid Poplars

What makes these trees so popular is their incredible growth speed. Hybrid poplars have been known to add a vertical growth of around 5 to 8 inches every year. They can grow quite nicely in a number of environments and the shade they provide once full grown can be quite impressive. Just make sure not to plant them too close to your house or parking area as they are usually subject to the occasional limb breakage. 

Important Considerations

Trees have generally long lifespans so when choosing one that will provide ample summertime shade, you should also consider any additional benefits that it can bring to your landscape garden. All the trees listed here can thrive in Florida’s hot and humid weather conditions, but still, make sure the ones you choose can grow well and without problems in your area. 

Lastly, choose a tree that will not grow too big for its location. The last thing you want is for your tree to take up living space and become an issue  in your neighborhood.

Ready to get stareted?

Landscape Improvements has been servicing Orlando and other nearby cities across Florida for over 28 years. Let us work with you today to design and maintain your landscape, as well as plant all the right summertime trees that you need. Simply give us a call or fill out our contact form to get in touch with our landscaping Orlando experts. 

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